Monday, January 28, 2013

Discussion: Two girls + one guy love triangle

Love triangles. Oh, I know, the dreaded subject of much friction and conflicted views. Some people love them, some people list them as pet peeves, and then there are others that decide how they feel about them on a case-to-case basis. However, this isn't a normal love triangle "are you for or against it" post. No. What I'm wondering is how you feel about a specific love triangle.

A two girls and one guy triangle.

Usually, you encounter the love triangle where the protagonist (girl) has to decide between her two (male) love interests. Twilight. The Uglies. Shatter Me. The Hunger Games. You see girls wearing a "Team So-&-So" shirt, which is a pet peeve of mine that I won't even discuss today, just to cheer on her pick in the fictional triangle dilemma.

But what about if a guy has to decide between two girls?


Recently, an amazing blogger friend of mine, Gilly, wrote a post about love triangles. She briefly touched on this particular subject and here is what she says:
There's also a double standard when it comes to love triangles. Most (not all, obviously) pro-love triangle people think the ones where the girl protagonist is trying to choose between two guys are acceptable, because of all the tangly feeelings and confusion and whatnot. But if a guy (usually NOT the protagonist) is trying to choose between two girls (one of who probably is the protagonist), people see him as a prick. Then there are the fun people who think, because a girl is torn between two guys, she is a trampire.
So if there's a case of having a two girls and one guy love triangle, usually one of the girls is the MC (main character) while the guy deciding is most likely not the protagonist. At least, that's the only one I really remember seeing. The story might have alternating POVs, but from day one, I bet it's no question which girl you're rooting for. You can't help it. Even in third person, unless the MC is utterly annoying and despicable, you will sympathize with her more than the other girl.


The first thing I think of is Taylor Swift's song "You Belong with Me." While yes, we get that the guy's girlfriend is horrible, I wonder if it's ever just twisted in the MC's mind. Does she really belong with him more? Is the other girl really that bad? What is reality and what is imagination? But yes, in this case, we see in the music video that the girlfriend is weirdly evil.


Unless I'm missing something, I want to know where the two girls and one guy love triangles are. Not the protagonist versus other girl triangle. Although I'm wary when the MC is a guy, I want to know his story with two girls that we have no biased feelings for. If done well, I think we'll be in agony over who to choose.


It isn't the same, but it's like in movies where the girl already has a significant other and while you like him, you ultimately root for the other guy. Movies (I proudly admit my dad was a big help, along with my mother, of course, for rattling off suggestions) such as Runaway Bride, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, Superman Returns, Pretty in Pink, My Best Friend's Wedding, and even in a small way, While You Were Sleeping. They're nice guys and you like them, but you know the other guy would be better.

Two girls and one guy!
Like I said, not the same considering we're not in much agony over who she decides. But the idea of it is to give us something fresh. Maybe people who are opposed to love triangles will actually like this one before it gets old too. Maybe we'll have a stronger interest in guy protagonists.

Clearly, my thought on the two girls and one guy love triangle situation is that if it was done right, I wish I could see more of them. I want things mixed up! I want to root for characters in different kinds of situations! I want agony, people!

But what I really want to know is what YOU GUYS think of it all. Do you want to see more two girls and one guy triangles? More specifically, do you want to see a guy protagonist leading the story with no biased feelings toward a certain girl?

Comment below your thoughts!

Yay?
Or nay?

38 comments:

  1. Love this post! I am definitely in favor of a guy-centric triangle...I've seen them done, just very, very rarely. Though, for the life of me, I can't recall exact scenarios. Going to have to look into this. Might be back later. :P

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    1. Thank you, that means a lot! Tell me what you find and YAY, I hope you do come back ;)

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    3. most anime revolve around these topic.. as well as asian dramas.. which is one of the main reasons i so got hooked up on them. i'm more of the one guy two girls love triangle kind. maybe because i love the challenge, or maybe because i prefer manw****s? haha! nevertheless i enjoy them. i wished more romance novels were made this way. i think it's too common for the reverse harem, that it becomes too cliche. I've seen them happen, two girls on guy, but sometimes it's just an undertone, still, even being that minute, it helps to think they exist.

      i don't know whether you prefer certain genres but here (i'll just put ones off the top of my head, 'kay?)

      Asian Drama:
      Autumn's Concerto (although it shifts towards the end - loved the alpha hero though)
      Playful Kiss (so cute)

      Novel:
      What Price Paradise (it's an undertone, but loved it nonetheless
      The One That I Want - Echols, Jennifer (this is very young adult though)
      Anna and the French Kiss - Perkins, Stephanie (i like it)

      Movies
      Two Girls and a Guy (i know, right?)
      27 Dresses
      Never Let Me Go (based on a novel of the same name)

      so let's stay hopeful. they happen! :)

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    4. ooooohhhh.... my fave! i forgot my fave!! JUST THE WAY YOU ARE by Barbara Freethy
      please do read it. :)

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  2. Interesting! I can't think of any love triangles where the guy is caught in the middle, but I think it's a good idea. I think you're right that it would have to be from the guy's POV, though I'm thinking of all the male POV books I've read and can't think of anything that really fits. It's usually the case where it's a guy who has an ex but is interested in someone else. Hmmm...I'm stumped! Hopefully an author will see your post and get inspired!

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    1. Exactly! Now wouldn't that be cool? :)

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  3. Haha, I'm in the "yay" category! And I have seen it done a couple of times (I can only think of one in particular). But it's definitely interesting. In the end though, I can't say that I would love every book with it, LOL. Great discussion, Sunny! (:

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    1. Yay! Ooh, which one? And yes, I don't think I'd love every book with it, but I would love some change to the regular love triangles.

      Thank you, Megan :)

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    2. Erm, Doing It by Melvin Burgess. Crazy sick book.

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  4. Ooh, yay, more love triangle discussions! Thanks for the linkage :) Obvious I agree that there should be more girl-guy-girl love triangles, not just with guy MCs, but girl MCs! How often do we read books were the protagonist isn't the OBJECT of the triangle, but one of the... prongs? I don't know. You know what I mean. Great post!

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    1. No problem, you got my wheels turning even more from that post! Agreed! Yes, I know exactly what you mean and I wish there was more.

      Thanks, Gilly!

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  5. I dislike love triangles to begin with, so I vote for NO MORE LOVE TRIANGLES AT ALL. I will also fully admit to being one of those shallow people who could handle a two guy and one girl triangle better than one guy and two girls. Though I'm having trouble coming up with good examples of the latter. I've definitely read books where the girl is in love with a guy who is dating someone else. But I can't think of a book that would be more like TWILIGHT, where one guy was actively pursuing two girls. BUT I don't like when a girl is actively pursuing two guys either. This is a GREAT question though, because it IS somewhat of a double standard.

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    1. Well, I love hearing another opinion! Yes, I've read a book where a girl likes a guy who is dating someone else, but what I see is that the guy doesn't really care for his girlfriend. I just read Hooked and the guy didn't like who he was "dating" so it was easy for him to pick the MC over his girlfriend. Thank you! Yes, I guess that's why I'm interested in it the most is that it's a double standard.

      Thanks for commenting your thoughts!

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  6. Great post! It's interesting thinking about this topic from a different angle. Generally, I am not fond of love triangles... but then most of the love triangles I have encountered have been centred around a female protagonist and two males. I can barely think of a scenario involving two girls and a male protagonist! Perhaps I would be less likely to pull my hair out if we saw more of a variety of triangles (if they really must exist in the first place. ;))

    Thanks for the interesting post!

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    1. Thank you, Sam! See? That's what I think. I'm not against love triangles exactly, but they do get very old very fast. Some authors, in my opinion, seem to just stick them there just to get their books more hits because that's what Twilight and Hunger Games did. I think the variety (like you said, if they must exist in the first place;) would be really interesting to see!

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  7. I really hate the Love Triangle (Two guys, one girl) just because it is so overdone! It doesn't mean I won't read a book or even enjoy the book because of it. I am just wanting something fresh.

    If more books had two girls, one guy love triangles, it would be so much better! Not because I really care either way, but because it hasn't been done to death! (At least in the books I've read anyway).

    Awesome post and argument though. New follower, just found your blog and I LOVE it!

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    1. Same here!

      Thank you, that means the world to me :)

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  8. NO MORE LOVE TRIANGLES!! Unless absolutely critical to the entire plot. Which is .0001% of the time.

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    1. Ha! Well, thanks for commenting your opinion/thoughts :)

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  9. I love this post and think that you wrote about an awesome topic! :) I really enjoyed While You Were Sleeping and My Best Friend's Wedding, so I think that it would be very interesting to see how a 2 girl/1 guy love triangle would play out in books! Just as long as the guy doesn't lead both girls on too much--I hate seeing girls do that to guys too.

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

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    1. Thanks, Alice! Eeeep, I haven't seen My Best Friend's Wedding, but While You Were Sleeping is one of my FAVORITE movies! Yes. I really hope any author attempting to do this wouldn't do that. Leading on is despicable in my opinion.

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  10. This post just totally blew my mind, lol ;) I've actually never put too much thought into that topic before. I really don't like two girl, one guy love triangles. I guess I am biased, although I don't usually like guy's povs as much as girl's povs. Great post! :)

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    1. Ha, thank you! True. Guy POVs are not something I really enjoy, but I think I would try it out in this instance. Thanks for commenting!

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  11. Love the topic! I actually do like love triangles. Aaaaand I would love to have a story on which there is one guy torn between two girls. Even better: a scenario in which there is a girl mc, as one part of a love triangle, and she realizes that the other girl actually isn't wrong for the guy. I was actually that girl once, who decided that I was the wrong choice. I would love to see that story.

    Thanks for bringing such an interesting topic!

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    1. Thank you! YES! That was another scenario I had been mulling over. I should've hit that more when I was talking about the whole Taylor Swift video. I mean, what IF she wasn't perfect for him? Girls seem to band together and make their friends believe, "You're better for him than so-and-so" when really, they're not. They just like him a lot.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  12. I like 1 guy, 2 girls love triangles! (and kinda have one int he book I'm writing/wrote). I especially like when the main character is one of the people pining after the guy because let's be real... I mean, I love fantasizing as much as the next girl that two awesome guys are in love with me at the same time, but has that ever happened? No. Never. It's always the other way around.

    The only book I've read with a male protag with 2 love interests is The Maze Runner (does this even count? romance wasn't really that main of a plot in those books), but I liked it. So, I'm all for male protag and 2 females.

    Also, about your reference about Taylor Swift/You Belong with Me. You should read this: http://www.thebooklantern.com/2012/12/cats-taylor-swift-and-girl-hate-in-pop.html

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    1. Exactly. I have never been in a position where two guys like me at once, only where I like a guy and so does half of the female population (okay, a bit of an exaggeration:)

      Hey, it counts! I think. I knew I should have read that book.

      Ooh, thanks so much for the link! I just used it in a review I read. LOVED it!

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  13. I had actually never thought about this before (how?) and I love this post for bringing it to my attention. Now that you mention it, I can't even think of a one guy-two girls love triangle- only situations where the boy is in love with one girl and another girl is trying to get him.
    About the relating-to-the-MC thing: agreed, especially about the song. Every time I hear it, I'm like, "Taylor, I love you but how do you know he belongs with you? How do you know what their relationship is like? Stop telling him how to live his life!" History is written by the winners, and those who are telling us the story can alter it however they choose in order to generate sympathy for themselves. And we believe them because they are the MCs and this happened to them, so they're right, right? I always feel like I'm getting a skewed perspective, and I always wish I could see into everyone's heads-that's why I like alternating POVs and third person omniscient so much.
    And as for the actual love triangle, all I can say is that I feel the same way about it as I do about all literary elements: if it's done well, yay. If not, nay.
    So now, after that unreadably long comment, I'll just sign off by saying that this post is fabulous. I have seen many pieces about love triangles, but this is the first I have read that focuses on the ones in which a male must choose. Thanks for giving me something new to consider and refreshing the blogging community with a different perspective on this controversial issue!

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    1. I'm glad I did bring it to your attention :)

      YES! Gosh, yes. I can't help but think that when I listen to that song now and so...I don't listen to it. Wow that's a great sentence. (The one about history) I do too. I always feel slightly suspicious when reading a perspective by ONE person in the FIRST person narrative. I've grown fonder of alternating POVs just so I can see what another person is thinking and see if I am getting lied to by one.

      It's not unreadably long. I love long comments, they're sorta like emails! Aw, thank you, Emily! This makes me incredibly happy and I'm so glad you told me your thoughts on it :)

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  14. Love triangles are just the bane to my reading existence! Lol. I don't know how, somehow, it's one of the trends in YA, especially those in trilogies. I just don't see the need in them. which is why I absolutely love how Veronica Roth plays with her couple in the Divergent series. Tris and Four don't need another one in their love story; it's just them.

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    1. Ha! Yes, they especially crop up in trilogies it seems like...or trilogies keep popping up EVERYWHERE...or both :) That's very true and I love the sweet romances like that. Thanks for commenting!

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  15. Oh I love this topic! I was wondering the same thing a while back. I keep reading all of these books where the love triangle is between two guys and one girl but I want to see more of the two girl placing the one guy in the difficult position of choosing! Let's be fair here, it can't always be a princess waiting to be rescued, I want to see someone rescue a Prince dang it! Okay that was my little rant after reading this post, I'm going to eat pizza and I think I'm going to watch My Best Friend's Wedding!

    GREAT POST!!

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    1. Haha! Oh, this comment is great. I don't want some spineless guy, but having a prince being rescued would be a nice change of pace :) I love rants, so no worries...and pizza...and movies. Can I come join?

      Thank you!

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  16. Okay, so I enjoy love triangles, as long as they actually make sense. I find it ridiculous to create a love triangle when the main girl has already made her choice. If it means that the girl likes both of them and they actually have a CHANCE of being together, and both guys are REALLY good for her, then I can ship a triangle. If it's a triangle where one of the boys is a real jerk or something, well no I don't ship it.

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    1. Yes, agreed! Why stay with jerks? Oh, because it's a safety net? Pathetic.

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  17. I have the very same feeling! Sorry in advance for my terrible English. Whenever I see a guy-centric love-triangle thing, one of the girls is always described beautiful and successful yet evil-hearted and I sometimes feel so furious because if the case changed into a guy, he'd still be loved and rooted by a lot, maybe he's even the endgame as he'd gone through some transformation of his personality. Also, that the-other-girl would not have as big a role as that the-other-guy in the 2-guy-1-girl situation. To me, it seems like the society is trying to leave the impression that girls always have to hurt each other for a man and mess with their lives simply because of their passion for romantic interests while guys can keep it good-looking and can be attractive in many ways thus the team A versus team B thing.

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    1. I love that you commented on this and I completely agree with your comment! YA tends to be very two-sided.

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